As I write, it is January 15, and the whirlwind of the holiday season has died down. We got some much-needed rain to start the year and it is predicted we will meet our regional averages for the season. That is outstanding news and I’m so very happy for all of us. Water is life.

Nicholas Mattson

Nicholas Mattson

There is nothing better than a nice rainy spell. I love the true seasons when we get to experience them here on the Central Coast. The smell of the rain, the sound of cars driving over rain-soaked roads, twinkling lights radiating through falling aquatic prisms, and the warmth of life wrapped in protective coverings against the penetrating cold. It is my favorite thing to work in the rain, whether indoors or out. There is an air of industriousness, comfort, and fellowship to it all.

But despite our joy, we pause to take a moment of silence.

Nature is powerful, and California has seen its share of tragedy this past year — 2018 did not take long to remind us of our place at the mercy of nature’s forces. It is unbearable to think of the loss and destruction. We are part of a generous and industrious community. We at PASO Magazine are open to ideas of how we can be a part of helping restore some of the lives that are forever changed by the mudslides in Montecito. We are a part of a greater community, and we would not be as great as we are without each other, all over California and beyond.

From the PASO Magazine team, we say thank you to the first responders and other heroes who saved lives during the tragedy.

Moments after taking time to consider the tragedy of our southern neighbors, I was struck with a tragedy closer to home. Our graphic designer Denise sent an email that a family friend of her daughter’s had suddenly passed away. I told her to take care of the important things while we worked through deadline — we had time.

Later that day I received a message that Denise’s family friend was the ever-joyful Brittni Frace and her older sister Brynn was in critical condition after a fatal car accident. Brittni led the Greyhounds’ distance running teams for the years I covered local sports, and like many of our local distance runners she was easy to root for.
Brynn passed away a few days later.

With joy and kindness, these girls left the world a better place than they had found it. Their father Warren works as Community Development Director for the City of PasoRobles. Their mother Shari works for the Atascadero school district. Both work to improve our community, and both were always ready to say hi and share their love for their daughters and others in the community. After Brittni graduated, Shari would always give me a report on her and her classmates. During Brittni’s time in high school, Warren was at almost every meet, home or away (maybe every one, and probably at Brynn’s too), taking photos.

Every day we have to share with each other is a day to cherish, and every day we work together to make a better community is a great day. Tomorrow is never promised.

Years ago, I came across the quote I use as my north star in journalism.

“If thou wouldest win Immortality of Name, either do things worth the writing, or write things worth the reading.” – Thomas Fuller

It has always resonated with me, and in covering the locals as a journalist, I was always blessed by those who did the “things worth the writing,” giving me something to write “worth the reading.”

I am always humbled by those who endeavor to become better people, whether it is athletically, intellectually, spiritually, or emotionally, and I am blessed to have the opportunity to now publish those endeavors by members our community.

Brynn and Brittni will never be forgotten by those who knew them, and I share in the sorrow of those who mourn their lives.

This February issue is dedicated in honor of the Frace family.

Nicholas Mattson
Publisher, PASO Magazine